Every once in a while I'll re-read parts of "The Grand Inquisitor" and remind myself why Dostoevsky is really really really good. If anyone wants to attempt some visual representation, or an image that is inspired by this piece of literature, please do so and send it to me so I can get it tattooed on my arm. Thank you!
"Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience, but nothing is a greater cause of suffering. And behold, instead of giving a firm foundation for setting the conscience of a man at rest forever, Thou didst choose all that is exceptional, vague and puzzling. Thou didst choose what was utterly beyond the strength of men, acting as though Thou didst not love them at all--Thou who didst come to give Thy life for them! Instead of possession of men's freedom, Thou didst increase it, and burdened the spiritual kingdom of mankind with its sufferings forever. Thou didst desire man's free love, that he should follow thee freely, enticed and taken captive by Thee. In place of the rigid ancient law, man must hereafter with free heart decide for himself what is good and what is evil, having only Thy image before him as his guide. But didst Thou not know he would at last reject even Thy image and Thy truth, if he is weighed down with the fearful burden of free choice? they will aloud at last that the truth is not in Thee, for they could not have been left in greater confusion and suffering than Thou has caused, laying upon them so many cares and unanswerable problems."
Last night Jacob and Rob and I got into a discussion/debate, and for the sake of this post, the topic doesn't matter. Sometimes, these discussions are just internal debates that I am vocalizing to other people, bouncing off my opinion and seeing where it goes. And the worst thing that can happen in a situation like this, is to have moments of doubt myself, not in my ability to argue or debate, but when I wonder to myself, "why am I saying this, do I really believe this?"....and that reaction totally sucks. It's not as if anyone "wins" these discussions. For me, it provides a mirror, and I have to really wonder if I believe in what I'm saying, politically and spiritually. I do believe that if you claim yourself to be a follower of Christ, that excludes you from the business of America, and that was smacking me over the head over and over again last night. As I write this, I'm bringing into question my own rationale, or rather, looking directly at my irrationality. I read an interview with Aaron Weiss the other day, and when he was asked a question about the difficulties of staying "relevant" in the music world today (or something to that affect), he responded, "I'm increasingly content with irrelevancy and less and less concerned with 'expressing myself'".....everything is hard to swallow, as it should be whenever you are really seeing yourself. (When I say, "hard to swallow"...I mean that it can be crippling) And soon, if they care to look at all, everyone will see through me. I'm a human (all too human) who is fascinated with the fringe existence of Christ. Studying Christ as a cultural figure is insulting.